Kim Kardashian saves ‘SNL’ ratings after weak premiere


Saturday Night Live” once again saw a boost in ratings from the clout of a major celebrity. Most recently, it was mega-watt influencer Kim Kardashian West at the helm of the variety sketch series.

The Season 47 premiere on Oct. 2, featuring actor Owen Wilson as host, pulled in 4.9 million total viewers in comparison to Kardashian who pulled in 5.2 million viewers total viewers – a 7% increase, per a report from Nielsen. 

When the audience demographic was broken down, Kardashian’s ratings rose 14% with people between the ages of 25-54 and 13% with people between the ages of 18-49 versus the numbers from the “SNL” premiere. 

It’s not a surprise considering her 258 million followers on Instagram and 70 million followers on Twitter. And those are just her personal handles. Kardashian also posts content on her SKIMS and KKW Beauty handles. 

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Throughout the week, Kardashian was posting constant updates on her handles promoting her episode and giving fans a sneak peek at what happens behind the scenes of the show. 

The businesswoman, 40, called out how many more people watch her every move on social media compared to who tunes into the late-night comedy show. 

Pictured: (l-r) Kim Kardashian West and Kenan Thompson during the ‘Skims’ sketch on Saturday, October 9, 2021.

Pictured: (l-r) Kim Kardashian West and Kenan Thompson during the ‘Skims’ sketch on Saturday, October 9, 2021.
(Rosalind O’Connor/NBC)

“I’m so used to having 360 million followers watching my every move, and how many people watch ‘SNL?’ Like 10 million? Tonight is just a chill, intimate night for me,” she said during her monologue. Even then she was overestimating.

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Kardashian’s episode was heavily compared to when billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk hosted in May 2021. The controversial decision paid off with the ratings. The episode averaged 7.3 million viewers, making it the third most-watched episode for Season 46 behind the ones hosted by Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock, according to Nielsen figures.

(l-r) Alex Moffat and host Kim Kardashian West during ‘The Dream Guy' sketch on Saturday, October 9, 2021.

(l-r) Alex Moffat and host Kim Kardashian West during ‘The Dream Guy’ sketch on Saturday, October 9, 2021.
(Rosalind O’Connor/NBC)

It should also be noted that Musk has over 60 million followers on Twitter and is constantly tweeting out thoughts or updates about his companies. 

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Kardashian’s and Musk’s presence on the NBC’s stage 8H and the buzz surrounding their debut on the show begs the question of does “SNL” need to rethink its hosting lineup?

Host Kim Kardashian as Shonda during the ‘Lotto Drawing’ sketch on Saturday, October 9, 2021.

Host Kim Kardashian as Shonda during the ‘Lotto Drawing’ sketch on Saturday, October 9, 2021.
(Rosalind O’Connor/NBC)

More traditional figures in TV and movies such as comedian Keegan-Michael Key and actress Anya Taylor-Joy hosted last year and had the season’s lowest ratings, both drew a 3.5 household Live+Same Day rating, per Nielson numbers.

The host’s star power and controversial nature have appeared to directly impact the audience numbers. 

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“If ‘SNL’ wants to stay relevant and successful in the ratings they must understand the power of today’s social-driven stars,” Eric Schiffer, an author and leading expert in media and branding, told Fox News regarding the success of Kardashian’s episode. 

Host Kim Kardashian West during the monologue.

Host Kim Kardashian West during the monologue.
(Rosalind O’Connor/NBC)

“Kardashian and Musk represent strong forces within social media and both have extremely loyal followings,” he added. “People in charge of ‘SNL’ booking need to have social media superstars in the lineup or else face a rating bleed out.”

Schiffer pointed out that “SNL” is about the host being entertaining and that talent is a “relative term.”

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“Find the right entertainers and today that’s evidenced by having massive social media following. ‘SNL’ has plenty of talent to wrap around the host,” he said. 

The host coming up this Saturday night is Oscar-winner Rami Malek. 

A rep for Kardashian did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment. 

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